Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt

10:00 AM

Title: Through to You
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 288
Source: Bought

Overall: 3.5 Stars

Opposites attract—and then complicate—in this romantic, relatable novel from the author of Two-way Street and Sometimes It Happens.

It starts with a scribbled note in class: I like your sparkle. Harper had casually threaded a piece of blue and silver tinsel through her ponytail in honor of school spirit day. And that carefree, corny gesture is what grabs Penn Mattingly’s eye. Penn—resident heartbreaker of the senior class. Reliably unreliable. Trouble with a capital “T.” And okay, smolderingly sexy.

Harper’s surprised by Penn’s attention—and so is Penn. The last thing he needs is a girlfriend. Or even a friend-with-benefits. The note is not supposed to lead to anything.

Oh, but it does. They hang out. They have fun. They talk. They make out. And after a while, it seems like they just click. But Penn and Harper have very different ideas about what relationships look like, in no small part because of their very different family backgrounds. Of course they could talk about these differences—if Penn knew how to talk about feelings.

Harper and Penn understand their attraction is illogical, yet something keeps pulling them together. It’s like a crazy roller coaster—exhilarating, terrifying, and amazing all at once. And neither knows how to stop the ride… 
My Thoughts: 
After years of reading Lauren Barnholdt's novels, I'm always hit with a rush of familiarity when I turn the first few pages. It's rather like greeting an old friend, and Lauren Barnholdt's latest YA book is no exception. Through to You has all the classic traits of a Lauren Barnholdt novel: an over-dramatic heroine, a love interest who doesn't mind breaking the rules, and a high school setting that adds further complications, especially when the two protagonists come from different backgrounds.

When Penn Mattingly leaves a scribbled note on Harper's desk with a single sentence—I like your sparkle.— it sets in motion an unlikely relationship. Honestly, if the book had only been told from Harper's perspective, I wouldn't necessarily understand Penn's appeal because he didn't stand out as a particularly great boyfriend. Sure, Penn is attractive, a good kisser, and certainly has his charming moments, but he was also quick to shut out Harper when she tried to be more personally involved with him. He could really be a jerk at times and Harper didn't deserve it.

It was the alternating chapters revealing Penn's side of the story that convinced me to give him a second chance. While Harper seemed to have her life in order with a steady job at her mother's dance studio and a goal to someday become a professional choreographer, Penn's future was very uncertain and he took it out on others to avoid the issue. A serious shoulder injury could ruin his plans to play baseball and he's tired of his family pretending everything is fine at home when it really isn't. 

Through to You will appeal to Lauren Barnholdt and YA contemporary romance fans alike. While the ending seemed a little rushed, the book is an addictive and fast-paced read, offering a few hours of entertainment on a summer afternoon. Harper and Penn's relationship may be bumpy at times, but you can't help rooting for them to be together in the end.

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  1. Mmmm... I don't know why the tinsel bit sounds so freaking familiar, like I'm sure I have read that before.
    And I guess it reminds me of You, Maybe.
    Now I'm very intrigued